International students could be barred from entering Ontario amid spike in COVID-19 cases

The possible travel suspension follows a request from Ontario premier Doug Ford. Source: Lars Hagberg/AFP

Canada may temporarily ban the entry of international students to Ontario amid a spike in COVID-19 cases. According to CIC News, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is putting in motion the steps to implement the suspension of entry following a meeting with the provinces on April 29.

“Premier Ford asked that we suspend the arrival of international students,” Trudeau was quoted saying. “Because at this time Ontario is the only province requesting this, we are happy to work more narrowly with them. We will be reaching out to their officials today (April 30) to formalise that request.”

The office of Ontario Premier Doug Ford later said they did not make a formal request for the federal government to halt international students from entering the province. No details have been released by the provincial nor federal governments over when the change will take effect or how long it will last, said the report.

Currently, international students are exempt from Canada’s COVID-19 travel rules. They can enter Canada if they have a valid study permit or a letter of introduction that shows they were approved for a study permit, and are attending a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by its province or territory.

It was previously reported that national non-profit representative Languages Canada believes the international student flow into the country may only fully resume in 2023. This projection is supported by data from market research firm Bonard.